Prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal disorder in sitting professionals

Shrushti N. Arora, Subhash Khatri


Background: Modern workplaces have shifted the nature of occupations from active to sedentary and promote lengthy sitting behaviour. It has been reported that people sit more than 8 hours per day. Musculoskeletal disorders are amongst the main occupational health challenges in today's world and exist in numerous occupations. The objective of the present study is to determine the prevalence and pattern of MSD among sitting professionals.

Methods: The study was a cross sectional. The inclusion criterion was both male and females working with desktop/ laptop for more than 4 hours daily for the past one year. The sample size was 100. Subjects who met the inclusion and exclusion criteria, informed consent was obtained. The participants were later instructed to fill up the questionnaire.

Results: The common prevalence of work related MSD reported during last 12 months based on their body location was; neck 45%, shoulders 5%, upper back 38%, wrist/hand 8%, lower back 52%, knees 23% ankle/feet 4% respectively, where the highest suffered region of the body was lower back. The prevalence of work related MSD reported during last 7 days based on their body locations were neck 32%, upper back 13% and lower back 18% where the highest suffered body part was neck.

Conclusions: The study suggested that the prevalence of MSD is there in population who have to sit for a long duration of time, affecting low back and neck regions the most.


Musculoskeletal disorder, Prolong sitting, Nordic musculoskeletal questionnaire, Occupational health

Full Text:



Owen N, Healy GN, Matthews CE, Dunstan DW. Too much sitting: the population-health science of sedentary behavior. Exercise Sport Sci Rev. 2010; 38(3):105.

Church TS, Thomas DM, Tudor-Locke C, Katzmarzyk PT, Earnest CP, Rodarte RQ, et al. Trends over 5 decades in US occupation-related physical activity and their associations with obesity. PLoS One. 2011;6:e19657.

Daneshmandi H, Choobineh A, Ghaem H, Karimi M. Adverse effects of prolonged sitting behavior on the general health of office workers. J lifestyle Med. 2017;7(2):69

Kwon Y, Kim JW, Heo JH, Jeon HM, Choi EB, Eom GM. The effect of sitting posture on the loads at cervico-thoracic and lumbosacral joints. Technol Health Care. 2018;26(S1):409-18.

Thorp AA, Healy GN, Winkler E, Clark BK, Gardiner PA, Owen N, Dunstan DW. Prolonged sedentary time and physical activity in workplace and non-work con- texts: a cross-sectional study of office, customer service and call centre employees. Int J Behav Nutr Phy. 2012;9:128.

Akrouf QA, Crawford JO, Al-Shatti AS, Kamel MI. Musculoskeletal disorders among bank office workers in Kuwait. East Mediterr Health J. 2010;16:94-100.

Moom RK, Singh LP, Singh H. Impact of personal and work related factors on prevalence of musculoskeletal disorder-a case study among bank employees in Punjab (India). Technol Health Care. 2019;27(1):123-9

Sadeghian F. Hosseinzadeh S. Aliyari R. Do psychological factors increase the risk for low back pain among nurses? A comparing according to cross-sectional and prospective analysis. Saf Health Work. 2014;5:13-6.

Soroush A, Shamsi M, Izadi N, Heydarpour B, Samadzadeh S, Shahmohammadi A. musculoskeletal disorders as common problems among iranian nurses: a systematic review and meta-analysis study. Int J Prev Med. 2018;9:27.

Anyfantis ID, Biska A. Musculoskeletal disorders among greek physiotherapists: traditional and emerging risk factors. Saf Health Work. 2018;9(3): 314-8.

Flaxman VT, Naghavi AD. Years lived with disability (YLDs) for 1160 sequelae of 289 diseases and injuries 1990-2010: a systematic analysis for the global burden of disease study 2010. Lancet. 2012;380:2163-96.

Karwowski W, Marras WS. Occupational ergonomics: principles of work design 2003. Int J Prev Med. 2017;7:14-9.

Niu S. Ergonomics and occupational safety and health: an ILO perspective. Appl Ergon. 2010;41:744-53.

Park J, Kim Y, Han B. Work sectors with high risk for work-related musculoskeletal disorders in Korean men and women. Saf Health Work. 2018;9:75-8.

Bilek NAO, Kenziman AK. Themersin greenhouse workers study. Surveillance of work-related skin, respiratory, and musculoskeletal diseases. Ann Global Health. 2018;84:504-11.

Punnett L, Wegman DH. Work-related musculoskeletal disorders: the epidemiologic evidence and the debate. J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2004;14:13-23.

Davey S, Bulat E, Massawe H, Pallangyo A, Premkumar A, Sheth N. The economic burden of non-fatal musculoskeletal injuries in Northeastern Tanzania. Ann Global Health. 2019;85:42-7.

Bernard BP, Putz-Anderson V. Musculoskeletal disorders and workplace factors; a critical review of epidemiologic evidence for work-related musculoskeletal disorders of the neck, upper extremity, and low back. Saf Health Work. 2012;1:15-8.

Labao HC, Faller EM, Bacayo MFD. ‘Aches and Pains’ of Filipino migrant workers in Malaysia: a profile of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Ann Global Health. 2018;84:474-80.

Saleem M, Priya S, Govindarajan R, Balaji E, Anguraj DJ, Shylendra Babu PG, Dhivyapriya S. A cross sectional study on work related musculoskeletal disorders among software professionals. Int J Prev Med. 2015;5:24-9.

Sharma AK, Khera S, Khandekar J. Computer related health problems among information technology professionals in Delhi. Indian J Community Med. 2006;31(1):36-8.

Ali KM, Sathiyasekaran BWC. Computer professionals and carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Int J Occup Saf Ergon. 2006;12(3):319-25.

Korhonen T, Ketola R, Toivonen R, Luukkonen R, Hakkanen M, Viikari-Juntura E. Work related and individual predictors for incident neck pain among office employees working with video display units. Occup Environ Med. 2003;60(7):475-82.

Daneshmandi H, Choobineh A, Ghaem H, Karimi M. Adverse effects of prolonged sitting behavior on the general health of office workers. J Lifestyle Med. 2017;7(2):69-75.

Cho HY, Kim EH, Kim J: Effects of the CORE exercise program on pain and active range of motion in patients with chronic low back pain. J Phys Ther Sci. 2014;26:1237-40.

Carter JB, Banister EW. Musculoskeletal problems in VDT work: a review. Ergonomics. 1994;37:1623-48.

Kim D, Cho M, Park Y, Yang Y. Effect of an exercise program for posture correction on musculoskeletal pain. J Physical Ther Sci. 2015;27(6):1791-4.

Todd AI, Bennett AI, Christie CJ. Physical implications of prolonged sitting in a confined posture-a literature review. J Ergon Soc South Africa. 2007;19(2):7-21.